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by Vinny DeCarlo

Vinny DeCarlo is the author of How to Beat Casino Surveillance – Insider’s Secrets for Card Counters. He is a retired veteran casino man with over 20 years of upper management experience. His expertise covers the pit, security, and surveillance, and he even served as a General Manager for two different casinos. Currently, Vinny travels the states as a freelance reporter and a personal consultant to many Indian casinos. He also appeared on the Getting the Edge radio show from Las Vegas ( According to Vinny, there are two types of casino employees - those that know him, and those that claim to know him; therefore, never believe what you hear.


Note: The following is a compilation of scams that have been perpetrated in casinos across the country.

The Toke Team Scam

Most casinos allow their dealers to vote for their toke committee. This is the group that most dealers trust to go table to table, unlock the toke boxes, and empty them into large cloth-like garbage bags to be sorted at the end of the night. A couple of problems arise with this procedure. What’s to stop the active dealer to grab a stack of greens, turn a ¼ to the toke team, and drop say $200 into the toke bag. Never happened?? Right, neither did the JFK assignation or 9/11/2001. Wake up stupid.

The Pen Pass Scam

Certain employees are not permitted to receive toke or tips. Bummer. They work so hard spending the casinos money trying to make players happy and they can’t take tips? Is there no justice? Why yes, there is. Here’s how this scam goes down.

The Big Player takes a writing pen and removed the upper portion and ‘coke-snort rolls’ a few $100 bills and inserts them within the pen. They sign their marker, wink at the dealer, and hand the pen off. The same plays true for hosts, marketing directors, hosts, junior hosts, etc. Anyone that is, by law, not permitted to accept a tip/toke, is getting theirs and tax-free too. This happens every day in almost every casino. This crime rips off other casino employees that ‘Pool’ their tokes. For example, I knew of a very cute BJ dealer and many players "Penned" her and she did not share the money. So all the other dealers thought these players were stiffs when, in fact, they were generous beyond all means. I later heard that that certain BJ dealer was also generous beyond all means. Figure it out.

The Double Buy In

This is a fall down stupid method of getting the cheques from the table tray to the agent with no fanfare. This scam is as common as the stuff between your toes. The player drops, say, five $100 bills. The dealer cuts out five black cheques and places them under the bills. The player quickly grabs the cheques from under the bills while pushing them towards the dealer. The dealer now grabs the bills and places them in front and center fashion (per procedure) and counts the bills down then pays the player for the buy in (for a second time). This act happens every weekend and has been for many years.

The Double Pay Off

The player wagers a fair amount (on any casino game) and if he/she wins...

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